Caroline Baudry / Photo credits: ALINE MORCILLO / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 08:33 a.m., November 20, 2023

The bill on old age, led by Aurore Bergé, arrives this Monday at the National Assembly. A text that provides for helping the elderly to age at home rather than in an institution. But aging in place is often an obstacle course.

Suspended since mid-April, the examination of a Macronist bill on old age resumes on Monday in the National Assembly. The text to "build the society of ageing well" includes measures to combat the isolation of the elderly and a system for reporting cases of abuse. It also aims to "facilitate the daily work" of home helpers, via a professional card.

Helping older people to stay in their homes for as long as possible is one of the key points of the text. 80% of French people want to grow old and end their days in their home rather than in a nursing home room, even though aging at home is often an obstacle course.

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"What shocks me is the lack of humanism" of nursing homes

When Betty became dependent after a stroke nine years ago, her daughter Rosa decided to take her in, stopped working, received the caregiver's allowance and divided her income by four. "It's not always easy, but it's necessary. If she was in a nursing home, she would have already died. I have visited them, and what shocks me is the lack of humanism. Where is human decency? The dignity of the human being?" she told Europe 1 radio.

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Complicated procedures

But Betty, 80, can no longer walk and spends her days in front of the TV in her hospital bed. In this small two-room apartment, the corridors are too narrow for her to move around with her armchair. "The surface area is not correct and the bathroom is not very compliant with disabled standards," she regrets.

Rosa dreams of moving. But his status as a landlord prevents him from obtaining suitable social housing. She expects this law to allow addicts to have a large enough environment, "which would allow them to flourish until death, but you have a wall, the procedure," she concludes.